Crafting for long periods is tough on your body. Try these simple exercises for crafters, broken down into categories, so you can target what ails you.
Did you craft your fingers off over the last few weeks? Now that holiday giving time is wrapping up, it’s time for a little bit of self care. These exercises target your wrists, neck, and back to help you bounce back from holiday crafting.
Related: Yoga for Crafters
When you’re working with your hands, there are a few common areas that take the most punishment:
- Your hands and wrists. Especially if you already had carpal tunnel.
- Your neck. All of that hunching over your holiday sewing or paper craft projects strains your poor neck.
- Your back. Sitting over a project for long periods is tough on your back, too!
The exercises for crafters below are broken down into those categories, so you can target what ails you.
Hand & Wrist Exercises for Crafters
Stretching and strengthening your wrists helps prevent or relieve minor carpal tunnel pain. If you have severe shooting pains in your arm or wrist, talk to your doctor. You may need to rest before you start exercises, to give your body a chance to heal.
If your pain is minor, though, gentle exercises can really help! I wrote about exercises for carpal tunnel over at Care2. Each exercise has an image, so you can see how it works. Over at Vibrant Wellness Journal, you can target your hands even more by practicing some yoga that just for your hands.
Whether you have carpal tunnel pain, minor wrist pain, or sore hands, these exercises feel awesome! If they don’t feel awesome, don’t do them. Any time you’re relieving pain with exercise, you want to listen closely to your body. Pain or serious discomfort means stop!
Neck Exercises for Crafters
Your neck tends to gets sore when you’re crafting, because you’re hanging your head forward over your project. This puts strain on the back of your neck. These exercises are meant to balance things out.
Cobra Pose – This is a gentle stretch for the upper back and neck that anyone can do.
Fish Pose – Normally, this is a counter-posture to shoulder stand, but since you already spent hours bending your neck in that direction, you should be a-OK to do fish pose on its own.
Camel Pose – When you are folded forward for a long time, your chest and shoulder muscles tighten. This puts strain on your neck, and this beginner yoga posture helps release the tension you’re holding in these muscles.
Basic Neck Rolls – Neck rolls are a great way to identify and stretch out areas that are storing tension. Just take it slow, and remember to take deep breaths.
Back Exercises for Crafters
Stretch and strengthen your back muscles to reduce crafting-related pain and prevent injury.
Cat/Cow – This is actually two poses, and you move between them to stretch out those back muscles.
Downward Dog – Down dog is one of my all-time favorite yoga poses. It strengthens and stretches the back and releases tension in the neck and the backs of the legs. This inversion also gives you a nice wrist stretch. It kind of has it all!
Spinal Twist – This is another stretch that hits more than one trouble spot. A gentle, spinal twist stretches out the muscles in your neck and back. Be careful not to push your body too far in this posture. Move slowly, and stop when you feel a gentle stretch.
I’d love to hear from you guys! Are there any stretches or yoga postures that help you recover from a crafting marathon? Share your favorite exercises for crafters in the comments!